Privacy Consent & Information
Your doctor needs information about your past and present health in order to provide you with high quality care. This practice will make sure that you are able to discuss your health with your doctor in private.
As a healthcare provider in the private sector, we are bound by the National Privacy Act, incorporating the National Privacy Principles. The Privacy Principles set the standard by which personal information is collected, handled, used and disclosed. As a part of providing a quality healthcare service, we need to take and maintain information of a personal nature in your medical file. This information is provided by you, about you, and is handled with the utmost respect for your privacy. This may include any or all of the following information: personal details (name, address, date of birth, Medicare number), medical history, notes made during the consultation and possibly during any procedures performed, relevant reports and/or results to and from other practitioners, or results of any tests performed.
Providing your information to other doctors
The doctors in this practice respect your right to decide how your personal health information is used or disclosed (for example to other doctors). In all but exceptional circumstances, personal information that identifies you will be sent to other people only with your consent.
In this practice, it is customary for all doctors to have access to all the medical records. If you have any concerns about other doctors at this practice being able to see your records discuss your concerns with your doctor.
Similarly, it may be clinically necessary for your doctor to communicate with or obtain information off other medical professionals you have seen. If you have any concerns about communication between the Northern Pain Centre and any other health professionals you have seen please discuss this with your doctor.
Providing your information to others
With your consent the Northern Pain Centre will use and disclose your information for purposes including;
- Informing your GP and referring specialists on your treatment
- Referral to other doctors, health professionals, ordering tests and hospital admission
- Quality assurance, practice accreditation and complaint handling
- Account keeping and billing e.g Medicare, health funds, insurance companies
- Practice Management
- To meet our obligations of notification to our medical defence organisation or insurers
- To prevent or lessen a serious threat to an individual’s life health or safety
- Where legally required to do so, eg notification of certain infectious diseases or suspected child abuse, or a subpoena or court order
- To prevent or lessen a serious threat to an individual’s life, health or safety
- If there is an overriding public health and safety interest in the release of the information.
In any of the above cases only information which is necessary to achieve the objective will be provided.
Using health information for quality improvement and research
We use patient health information to assist in improving the quality of care we give to all our patients by reviewing the treatments used in the practice.
We may also use information that does not identify you in research projects to improve health care in the community. Wherever practicable, the information used for research will not be in a form that would enable you to be identified. The publication of research results which use your information will never be in a form that enables you to be identified.
Your access to your health information
You have access to the information contained in your medical record. You may ask your doctor about any aspect of your health care including information in your record. If access is requested we ask that your request be in writing. Where you dispute the accuracy of the information you are entitled to correct that information. We will take all steps to record any of your corrections and place them with your file but will not erase the original record.
Depending on what is involved, you may be asked to contribute to the cost of providing the information.
By engaging in the medical services of Northern Pain Centre you consent to Northern Pain Centre collecting, using and disclosing your personal information as outlined above. You understand that you may withdraw consent to use and disclose your personal information except when legal obligations must be met. You understand that Northern Pain Centre is not an emergency services and you will contact 000 in the case of an emergency.
If you have any questions or concerns with regard to the privacy of your medical records, please do not hesitate to contact Northern Pain Centre.